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One Marvel screenwriter. Three Homegrown Showrunners. Panel moderated by one of the snarkiest TV critcs ever, Tim Goodman, aka @BastardMachine. Equals VIFF Industry’s Can’t-Miss Panel on Saturday, October 4th at 2:45 p.m. Click here for tickets.


Nicole Perlman is the screenwriter whose draft for 2014’s biggest box office smash Guardians of the Galaxy convinced Marvel to greenlight the movie. Reportedly director James Gunn refuses to acknowledge her contribution, taking full credit for the script-to-screen process — especially the comedic elements — but the Writers Guild of America sees it differently, giving Perlman a co-writing credit. She is not invited back for the sequel, but her role in launching a new Marvel movie franchise is an important first for female screenwriters.



Earlier this year, homegrown writer-showrunner Hart Hanson returned to his grad school alma mater the University of British Columbia to give a sold-out talk called “From Here to There: A Nice Canadian Boy Goes to Hollywood”. Best-known for his long-running Los Angeles-shot series Bones on FOX,  Hanson is back in Vancouver shooting the 13-episode “crime-dy” Backstrom, starring The Office’s Rainn Wilson as Portland Detective Everett Backstrom. Self-Destructive. Judgemental. Indulgent. And the way he solves crimes is almost criminal. Backstrom tries and fails to change his boorish behaviour while leading the Serious Crimes Unit, investigating Portland’s most sensitive crimes. The part-procedural part-comedy will film in Vancouver until mid-November and air mid-season on FOX.

Related: Backstrom Filming in Vancouver.


Homegrown writer-showrunner Simon Davis Barry, a UBC Film grad, created Vancouver-cop-from-the-future series Continuum while stuck in traffic and envisioning a future without cars. His future is a dystopian one where rising seas from global climate change wipe out the east coast making Vancouver a world financial centre where corporations have taken over failed governments. A corporate officer from the future Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) travels back in time to present-day, chasing a group of terrorists who plan to change the future from the past by targeting the corporations that will come to the rule the world. Always the good soldier in the future, Kiera slowly adjusts “her moral compass” in the third season, which aired earlier this year on Showcase in Canada and Syfy in the U.S. Perhaps her future is not such a great future after all and not worth protecting. Continuum started out as part-procedural, part sci-fi but is more serialized now. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is a big fan.

Related: Continuum Filming in Vancouver.

motive s3

Homegrown Dennis Heaton, a former Simon Fraser University film student, is co-showrunner of Vancouver whydunit series Motive, starring Kristin Lehman and Louis Ferreira. The Murder is Just the Beginning on Motive. The hit procedural-with-a-twist on CTV in Canada and ABC in the U.S. is unusual for two reasons: Vancouver plays itself not somewhere else and Motive is a whydunit not a whodunit. At the top of each episode, we learn who The Killer and The Victim (often BC actors) are and then follow along with detectives Angie Flynn (Lehman) and Oscar Vega (Ferreira) as they solve the murder and uncover the reasons behind it. How do the writers come with new motives? What is the hardest motive to dramatize? Production of the third season got underway in Vancouver in mid-September.

Related: Motive Filming in Vancouver.

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